Ben Burns NHL Money Lines Picks
|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|12-03-13||Carolina Hurricanes v. Washington Capitals -160||4-1||Loss||-160||13 h 46 m||Show|
I'm playing on WASHINGTON. The Hurricanes won here earlier in the season. Tonight, however, I expect home ice to prove significant.
The Caps are currently the hotter team. They've won two in a row. The Canes, on the other hand, have dropped two straight.
The Caps are 9-6 here on the season. They've outscored opposing teams by a 3.0 to 2.8 average margin here.
Meanwhile, the Canes are 4-7 on the road. They've been outscored by an average score of 3.5 to 2.5, when playing away from Raleigh.
Lack of power play scoring has really hurt Carolina. The Canes were 0 for 6 on the p.p. last time out and are now 3/41 their last 13 games.
The Canes are being outscored by an average of 2.8 to 2.2 in divisional games. Conversely, the Caps are outscoring divisional foes by an average score of 3.2 to 2.1.
The Canes are 3-10 (-6.7) when facing a team with a winning record. They're 17-30 in that situation the past couple of seasons.
The Caps are 10-5 (+3.6) against teams with a losing record. They're 35-23 (+7) in that situation the past couple of seasons. I expect them to finish on top once again. 7*
|12-02-13||Philadelphia Flyers v. Minnesota Wild -145||0-2||Win||100||14 h 27 m||Show|
I'm playing on MINNESOTA. The Wild have fared pretty well against teams from the Eastern Conference. They're 8-5 (+2.3) against non-conference foes. For the most part, they've also taken care of business against sub-500 teams. They're 9-4 (+4) against teams with a losing record vs. the money-line. Playing at home and desperate to snap their current skid, I look for them to get it done tonight.
While the Flyers are 5-7 on the road, the Wild are 10-5 here at Minnesota.
At home, the Wild are outscoring teams by an average of 2.7 to 1.9.
On the road, the Flyers being outscored by a 2.3 to 2.2 average.
Despite coming up short last time out, the Wild did play well. Coach Yeo noted: ''That's a huge point for us. We lost the skill competition at the end of the game, the shootout, whatever you want to call it. Bottom line I really believe we deserved the win in regulation.''
I expect the Wild to bring their A-game tonight, en route to a much needed two points. 8*
|11-29-13||Edmonton Oilers v. Columbus Blue Jackets -151||2-4||Win||100||13 h 3 m||Show|
I'm playing on COLUMBUS. This game sets up well for the home team. While the Oilers were busy beating up on Nashville last night, the Jackets had the day off. Note that the Oilers are only 1-3 when playing the second of back-to-back games. The Jackets, who are off a loss last time out, have alternated wins and losses for the past couple of weeks. With the Jackets motivated to avenge a recent 7-0 loss at Columbus, I expect that pattern to continue for another day. 8*
|11-29-13||Montreal Canadiens v. Washington Capitals -110||2-3||Win||100||11 h 4 m||Show|
I'm playing on WASHINGTON. The Canadiens come in as the hotter team. I expect the Capitals to be a little more hungry though. In addition to trying to snap their current skid, the Caps should have some extra motivation due to the fact that Montreal beat them here, one week ago and due to having given up six goals vs. Ottawa last time out. The Caps are 26-15 (+11.1) the past few seasons, after giving up four more goals. During that time, they're also 19-11 (+7.2) after a loss by two more goals. I expect them to bounce back with a big win. 9*
|11-29-13||Winnipeg Jets v. Philadelphia Flyers -136||1-2||Win||100||6 h 35 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHILADELPHIA. The Flyers figure to be hungry here. After winning five of six, they've now dropped two straight. The last time that they were off b2b losses, they won three straight by a combined score of 11-3. The Flyers play with "revenge" here, as the Jets beat them at Winnipeg, a couple of weeks ago. Knowing that they head out on an extended road trip after this, I expect a highly motivated effort from the revenge-minded Flyers, as they bounce back with an important two points. 8*
|11-28-13||Vancouver Canucks -110 v. Ottawa Senators||5-2||Win||100||13 h 51 m||Show|
I'm playing on VANCOUVER. The schedule favors the visitors here. The Canucks have had the last couple of days off, while the Senators are off a win at Washington.
While the Sens are playing on home ice, both these teams have actually been stronger on the road. The Canucks have a losing record at home but a winning one on the road. Meanwhile, the Sens are only 4-8 at home. They've been outscored by a 3.2 to 2.6 average here.
The Sens have played back to back games a couple of times recently. They lost 4-1 vs. Carolina and 4-3 vs. Minnesota. In fact, they're already 0-4 in that situation this season, giving up a minimum of four goals in all four losses.
The Canucks, who are 17-8 (+3.5) the last 25 times that they played with two day's rest, should be very hungry here. I expect them to come away with an important two points. 9*
|11-27-13||Los Angeles Kings v. San Jose Sharks -158||2-3||Win||100||13 h 35 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN JOSE. The home team has dominated this series. The Kings won on home ice earlier this season. That marked the 13th consecutive time that the home team won in this series. While it won't last forever, I expect that streak to continue for at least one more game.
The 13-game series winning home ice streak includes all seven games in last year's playoffs. The Kings had home ice advantage in that series, meaning that they won Game 7. In other words, the Sharks still haven't had a chance to get any payback against the team that knocked them out of the playoffs. Needless to say, they should be highly motivated.
The Sharks are 8-3 the last 11 times that they played with three day's rest in between games. During that time, they're also 18-7 (+7.2) when playing a home game with an O/U line of five or less. I expect them to improve on those stats this evening. 7*
|11-27-13||Ottawa Senators v. Washington Capitals -138||6-4||Loss||-138||12 h 33 m||Show|
I'm playing on WASHINGTON. I successfully played against the Senators in their last game. While I don't mean to keep going against them, I believe that they're in the wrong place at the wrong time here.
The Capitals have lost three straight, meaning the Sens should have their full attention. Note that they're 6-2 the past eight times that they were off three or more consecutive losses. The only time that they were in that situation this season, they responded with a solid 4-2 victory.
Off the Carolina loss, Ottawa coach MacLean said this of his team: "Right now, we don't play hard enough to win. We don't play long enough to win consistently
|11-24-13||Ottawa Senators v. Carolina Hurricanes -111||1-4||Win||100||8 h 41 m||Show|
I'm playing on CAROLINA. Both teams played yesterday. The Canes did so in the afternoon though while the Sens did so in the evening. Throw in the fact that the Canes are playing at home here and I feel they've got the schedule in their favor.
Carolina lost in OT at Boston yesterday but coach Muller still believes his team can gain some momentum from picking up the point at such a tough venue. He noted: "I think that's huge for us. Not too many teams are going to walk in here and get points the way they're playing. We battled through a little adversity earlier on, but I thought the guys played hard, played well, and that's a big point. We can kind of turn the corner and gain on and build on it Sunday."
The Canes have dominated the Sens here over the years, going 9-0-1 the last 10 times that they were a host in the series. All things considered, I believe we're getting very fair value with the home team here. 9*
|11-23-13||Colorado Avalanche v. Los Angeles Kings -147||1-0||Loss||-147||16 h 19 m||Show|
I'm playing on LA. The Avs have kept winning, despite without leading scorer Matt Duchene. Facing the stingy Kings, I expect his absence to catch up with them tonight.
The Kings are allowing an average of only 1.2 goals per game, their last five games. During that time, the Avs are allowing an average of 3.4 goals per game.
The Avs don't always fare so well, when playing on the road, against these top defensive teams. They're just 9-13 (-2.7) the past couple of seasons, when playing a road game with an O/U line of five or less.
During that time, the Kings are 38-23 (+3) when playing a home game with an O/U line of five or less.
Over the same period the Kings are 25-16 (+6.4) after scoring one goal or less in their previous game. That includes a perfect 4-0 mark in that situation this season, the Kings scoring 15 goals in those games. Off a 2-1 loss, I expect them to bounce back with a big effort tonight. 8*
|11-23-13||Anaheim Ducks v. Phoenix Coyotes -150||4-2||Loss||-150||14 h 50 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHOENIX. This one sets up nicely for the home team. While the Ducks are off a hard fought OT win vs. TB last night, the Coyotes had last night off. The Coyotes have been excellent here and I expect them to be very hungry tonight.
The Ducks won both this season's previous meetings, which should give the Coyotes some added motivation here. Note that both those games were at Anaheim. Of course, the Coyotes also haven't forgotten that it was the Ducks who eliminated them from the playoffs last season.
While the Ducks have lost four straight on the road, the Coyotes have won eight of nine at home. They have yet to lose in regulation here, going 9-0-2. Note that the Coyotes are also 4-1 against the Ducks here the past couple of seasons. I'd say some payback is in order. 8*
|11-23-13||Ottawa Senators v. Detroit Red Wings -133||4-2||Loss||-133||13 h 50 m||Show|
I'm playing on DETROIT. While the Wings may not have Alfredsson available to go up against his former team, I still expect them to have the advantage this evening.
The Wings got back on track with a much-needed win last time out. The same can't be said for the Senators, who have dropped three straight.
The Wings haven't forgotten that the Sens embarrassed them here by a 6-1 score on 10/23. (Prior to that, the Wings had long fared well against the Sens here.)
Coach Babcock noted this after Detroit's victory on Thursday: "It was a good win for us. There were a lot of positives."
Back on track and looking to avenge last month's debacle, I expect the Wings to get it done. 8*
|11-22-13||Columbus Blue Jackets v. Vancouver Canucks -190||2-6||Win||100||15 h 47 m||Show|
I'm playing on VANCOUVER. The Canucks have cost me a couple of times on their recent skid. It hasn't been from poor play though. They should have a significant advantage on the ice tonight and I'm willing to give them another shot.
Vancouver coach Tortorelli isn't accepting losing to the league's lower tier teams and he should have the Canucks ready to go from the opening whistle. The fact that the Jackets beat them at Columbus last month figures to add even further motivation.
Note that starting goalie Luongo is 6-1-3 with a 2.15 GAA in 10 home starts against the Jackets, while playing with Vancouver.
While they came up short vs. Dallas (a game the Canucks dominated) the Canucks are still a lucrative 16-8 (+2.5) the past couple of seasons, when playing with two day's rest in between games.
The Jackets, who are playing without a couple of their top players, haven't won here in ages. I don't see it happening against a desperate and talented Vancouver team tonight. 6*
|11-22-13||Florida Panthers v. Calgary Flames -145||3-4||Win||100||14 h 48 m||Show|
I'm playing on CALGARY. Admittedly, victories have been few and far between for the Flames. They've actually been quite competitive against teams from the Eastern Conference though and tonight figures to provide them with an excellent opportunity to give the home faithful something to cheer about.
The Flames know they can't afford to let this winnable opportunity slip by. They've got a break after this, followed by a hard game vs. Chicago and two on the road. In other words, this game offers their best chance - on paper - for a win, in the foreseeable future.
After last night's 4-1 loss at Edmonton, note that Florida is now getting outscored by an average of 3.5 to 2.2 on the road, for the season.
The Panthers, who are playing the final leg of a 5-game trip, have already picked up some points since leaving home. They shouldn't be quite as "desperate" as their hosts.
The Panthers, who are thousands of miles away from home, surely can't wait to leave chilly Alberta. They played a single home game on 11/12. However, that was preceded by three straight on the road. A closer look reveals that this will be the 11th straight game that the Panthers played at a different rink than they played their previous game at. During that stretch, they've traversed the entire continent. I feel they could be a little road weary and could easily get caught looking ahead to getting out of the cold. (I just checked Weather dot com a second ago, roughly 10am Mountain time, and it claims that the temperature in Calgary feels like its 9 Fahrenheit, which is about -13 Celsius.)
With the schedule and venue in their favor, I expect the Flames to rise to the occasion with a rare win. 9*
|11-22-13||Montreal Canadiens v. Washington Capitals -120||3-2||Loss||-120||11 h 10 m||Show|
I'm playing on WASHINGTON. The Canadiens are off a big 6-2 win. They don't always follow up a big win with another one though and I expect them to find the going tough tonight.
The Capitals didn't play well last time out, losing 4-0. They were red hot before that game though. They've been very good at responding to "bad" losses in recent years and I expect them to bounce back with a much better effort.
The Caps are 19-10 (+8.5) the past couple of seasons, after a loss by two or more goals in their previous game.
During that stretch, the Caps are also a lucrative 26-14 (+12.3) after allowing four or more goals, in their previous game.
On the other hand, over the same period, the Canadiens are an ugly 10-18 (-10.7) when off a win by two or more goals AND a money-burning 8-21 (-15.9) after scoring four or more goals.
With Montreal just 7-13 its last 20 road games with an O/U line of five or less, I feel the price on Washington is more than fair. 8*
|11-21-13||Florida Panthers v. Edmonton Oilers -137||1-4||Win||100||13 h 17 m||Show|
I'm playing on EDMONTON. Both teams have suddenly caught fire. Playing on home ice, I expect the Oilers to be the team which makes it three in a row.
The Oilers are a young team. However, they've got some talent, arguably more than the Panthers.
While the Panthers eked out a 3-2 shootout win last time out, the Oilers won a 7-0. When factoring in that they scored the final four goals in a 4-2 comeback win over Calgary, the Oilers have suddenly outscore the opposition by a dominating 11-0 mark the last four periods.
The Oilers already won at Florida and they've dominated the Panthers here. They've only won three games by more than one goal this season and they followed up each of the first two with another victory. I expect them to keep on rolling for another day. 8*
|11-19-13||Tampa Bay Lightning v. Los Angeles Kings -141||2-5||Win||100||15 h 42 m||Show|
I'm playing on LA. I successfully played against the Lightning in their last game and believe that this will be another good spot to do so.
The Kings are tough to score on at the best of times. In fact, they haven't given up a single goal in their last two games and they've given up a total of just six goals over their last six games. That task becomes even more difficult when playing without your top scorer, which is the case for Tampa.
The Kings outshoot teams by a commanding 33.1 to 23.5 margin here at LA, outscoring them by an average of more than a goal per game. (While the Lightning do have a winning record on the road, they're actually getting outscored by a 2.4 to 2.3 average per road game.)
The Kings are playing with "revenge" from a 5-1 loss at Tampa earlier. This well-coached team has played well when looking to avenge an earlier loss. I look for them to get some payback against their short-handed guests. 8*
|11-19-13||Florida Panthers v. Vancouver Canucks -210||3-2||Loss||-210||14 h 13 m||Show|
I'm playing on VANCOUVER. I read the AP preview for this game and it starts by saying that the Panthers may be catching the Canucks at just the right time. I feel that the exact opposite is true.
Yes, I know the price is pretty steep but I feel it could easily be even higher.
Not only do the Canucks have a major talent edge in this one, they'll also be extremely motivated, as they're desperate to snap their current 4-game skid. Last game, they dominated a streaking Dallas team, but lost 2-1. A disallowed goal - which should have counted - didn't help matters. Running into a hot goalie can do that in hockey. With Luongo up against his former team, the Canucks should also have the edge between the pipes here though.
The Panthers are already 0-2 this month when playing with two day's rest in between games. They're 5-15 (-9.6) their last 20 in that situation.
During that time, Florida is also a money-burning 9-20 (-10.6) against teams from the Western Conference. Not surprisingly, the Canucks have dominated them here over the years.
Its been years since the Canucks lost five straight. I don't see it happening here. 6*
|11-19-13||Columbus Blue Jackets v. Edmonton Oilers +101||0-7||Win||101||14 h 44 m||Show|
I'm playing on EDMONTON. The Oilers haven't won a home game in ages. Tonight's matchup should provide them an excellent opportunity to change that.
Both teams have struggled but both are coming off victories. While both teams are hoping those wins will be "momentum-building" ones, I believe that Edmonton's victory will provide a bigger lift.
Down 2-0 against archrival Calgary, four Oilers scored in the third period to give the Oilers a 4-2 win.
Coach Dallas Eakins had this to say: "It gives you a spark, it gives the individuals some confidence scoring goals
|11-18-13||Anaheim Ducks v. Pittsburgh Penguins -148||1-3||Win||100||13 h 48 m||Show|
I'm playing on PITTSBURGH. Both these teams are talented. Both are good records. Both have struggled recently. I believe the Pens bring a little more to the table though. Playing on home ice, I look for them to be the team which bounces back to earn an important two points.
The Ducks have been hurt in the special teams department, particularly away from Anaheim. They haven't done an effective job killing penalties and their own power play ranks last in the league on the road, at just 6.5%.
The Ducks are only 18-30 the past couple of seasons against winning teams. During that time, they're also 13-20 (-4.1) when playing a road game with an O/UI line of 5.5. Over the same period, the Pens are 31-14 (+6.4) when playing a home game with an O/U line of 5.5.
While the Ducks are getting outscored by an average of 3.1 to 2.5 on the road, the Pens are outscoring teams by an average score of 3.1 to 1.8 here at home. All things considered, I feel the price is reasonable. 8*
|11-17-13||Dallas Stars v. Vancouver Canucks -150||2-1||Loss||-150||13 h 14 m||Show|
I'm playing on VANCOUVER. The visitors come in as the hotter team. However, I expect the home team to be a little more "hungry." Recent results notwithstanding, I also believe the Canucks are the stronger squad. I look for a determined effort right from the opening face-off.
The Canucks have dropped three straight. The first two of those came on the road, the last here at home. Although only 4-4 here, they're outscoring teams by an average score of 2.5 to 2.2 here in Vancouver, outshooting them by a 35.6 to 26.2 average.
The Canucks have gotten that "first game back home from a road trip" out of the way and they now have a stretch of games here at Vancouver. With Florida and Columbus on deck, they've got nothing to look ahead to. The losing streak should have them fully focused on the task at hand.
The Stars could potentially be a little complacent and/or could get caught looking ahead to returning home. This is the final game of a road trip and they've already exceeded expectations on it. This will mark the 11th straight time that they played in a different rink than they did in their previous game. (They've gone home a couple of times, just never for more than a game.)
Both teams play with two day's rest in between games. The Stars are 0-2 their last two in that situation, going 9-13 (-5.2) the past couple of seasons. On the other hand, the Canucks are 16-7 (+4) when playing with two day's rest, 3-1 their last four.
The Stars are 1-5 their last six, after scoring four or more goals. They're 11-16 (-4.6) in that situation the past couple of seasons. During that time, the Canucks are 16-9 (+3.6) after scoring one or less. 8*
|11-16-13||Tampa Bay Lightning v. Phoenix Coyotes -140||3-6||Win||100||14 h 52 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHOENIX. Both these teams are off to excellent starts. Playing on home ice, I expect the Coyotes to be the team which continues its winning ways tonight.
The Lightning are 2-0 since Steve Stamkos went down with a broken leg. Give them credit for digging deep and getting it done without their best player. However, his loss will eventually be felt - and I expect that to be the case tonight.
Phoenix goalie Mike Smith has been outstanding of late and is now 11-0-2 with a 2.01 goals-against average in his last 14 home starts. Smith should benefit from not having to face one of the league's top snipers.
While the Lightning have been great against the West, the Coyotes have won seven straight at home.
While the Lightning are only averaging 2.2 goals per game on the road, the Coyotes are averaging a whopping 4.0 at home. 7*
|11-15-13||Nashville Predators v. Pittsburgh Penguins -209||1-4||Win||100||8 h 41 m||Show|
I'm playing on PITTSBURGH. Both teams have struggled recently. Playing on home ice, I expect the Pens to be the team which turns it around tonight.
The Pens are arguably the most talented team in the league. Despite the recent losses, they're still getting strong goaltending. (Fleury has allowed two goals or less in 11 of his 15 starts and ranks among the league leaders with a 2.07 GAA.)
Meanwhile, its only a matter of time before the potent Pittsburgh offense starts clicking again. Facing a struggling Nasvhille team which is playing without its #1 goalie should be just what the doctor ordered. The Preds have allowed 31 goals their past seven games, a minimum of three in each of those.
Nasvhille coach Barry Trotz said this of his team's last effort: ''We were slow to the puck all night and they did a better job winning the 1-on-1 battles. We're going through a tough time
|11-14-13||Colorado Avalanche v. St. Louis Blues -148||3-7||Win||100||12 h 1 m||Show|
I'm playing on ST. LOUIS. While each are off a loss, these teams have both played well to start the season. Playing on home ice, I like the Blues to have the advantage for tonight's showdown.
These teams met three times last season. In each case, the home team won. The Blues were laying -225 for the game here at St. Louis, winning 3-1.
Including last season's victory, the Blues are 4-0 the last four times that they hosted the Avs, outscoring them by a 13-4 combined margin.
With Tuesday's loss at Carolina, the Avs are now 9-12 the last 21 times that they played a road game with an O/U line of less than 5.5. During the same stretch, the Blues were 28-14 (+5.1) when playing a home game with an O/U line of less than 5.5.
As well as they've fared away from Colorado, I believe its worth noting that the Avs are being outshot by an average of 32.7 to 27.7 when playing on the road.
Conversely, the Blues are outshooting teams by a 31.2 to 24.8 average margin here at St. Louis.
Speaking of shots, the Blues were unfortunate to lose their last game, outshooting Phoenix by a 37-18 margin. I like them to bounce back with a big effort. 8*
|11-13-13||Toronto Maple Leafs v. Minnesota Wild -150||1-2||Win||100||12 h 16 m||Show|
I'm playing on MINNESOTA. These teams met last month at Toronto. At the time, the Wild were off a game the previous night while the Leafs were well rested. The Leafs got off to a strong start, the Wild did not. Things set up much differently this time.
This time, the Wild are playing at home. This time, they didn't have to play last night. Note that the Wild have long been a better team on home ice. Currently, they've won seven of their last eight here. In six of those games, they allowed a single
While the Wild got off to a 3-6 start, as seen by their home stats, they're playing much better now. Off a win last time out, they're 7-2 their last nine games overall. They've now earned at least a single point in nine of their last 10.
While the Leafs got off to a 5-1 start, they've lost two of their last three games. With the loss to Boston, they're now just 14-31 (-14.4) their last 45 against teams with a winning record.
They've had some trouble with the Leafs in recent meetings but I look for the revenge-minded Wild to take care of business tonight. 8*
|11-12-13||Winnipeg Jets v. Detroit Red Wings -166||3-2||Loss||-166||13 h 59 m||Show|
I'm playing on DETROIT. The Jets came through for me in their last game. That was at Winnipeg though. Tonight, they're on the road at a tough venue against a talented and hungry opponent. Big difference.
The Wings have dropped three straight, the first of those losses coming at Winnipeg. That should give them some extra motivation here.
The Jets are rarely as good away from Winnipeg; they're getting outscored by a 2.9 to 2.1 margin away from home this season.
While the Wings have admittedly struggled here so far this season, they've been very good here, for a very long time. I expect them to get it together on home ice, at least for tonight.
While the Jets are 12-24 (-9.1) the past couple of seasons, when playing a road game with an O/U line of 5.5, the Wings are 30-12 (+11) when playing a home game with an O/U line of 5.5.
During that stretch, they're 27-19 (+2.9) when attempting to avenge an earlier loss.
While the line may seem steep for a struggling team, consider that it was nearly as big for last week's game at Winnipeg and that the line has been greater than -200 four of the past five times the Wings were a host in this series.
The last time the Wings hosted the Jets (12/10/11) they won by a score of 7-1. I don't expect this one to be that "easy" but I expect the end result to be the same, two points for the Wings. 9*
|11-11-13||Tampa Bay Lightning v. Boston Bruins -156||0-3||Win||100||5 h 18 m||Show|
I'm playing on BOSTON. The Lightning come in with a slightly better record and playing well. However, I believe that the Bruins are favored by this much for good reason. Keep in mind that the Bruins were laying -200, when they beat the Lightning 3-1 here in early October.
As noted on Saturday, Boston tends to bring its "A Game" when facing teams within its division. Indeed, the Bruins are now a dominating 30-8 (+16.8) their last 38 divisional games, 7-1 their last eight.
While the Lightning would surely love to avenge a pair of losses last month, some teams just have other teams' number, matching up well against them. The Bruins, who are outscoring teams by a 2.8 to 1.9 average margin on the season, have long been "stingier" than the Lightning - and that has led to a one-sided series.
Including this season's two wins, which it won by a combined score of 8-1, Boston has won six straight in the series. The Bruins are outscoring teams in their division by a 3.6 to 1.4 margin in games this season. They've allowed just two goals their past two games and I believe they've got an excellent shot at continuing their dominance of the Lightning for another day. 7*
|11-09-13||Pittsburgh Penguins v. St Louis Blues -124||1-2||Win||100||13 h 57 m||Show|
I'm playing on ST. LOUIS. The Blues have been excellent here at St. Louis. They're 6-2 here, outscoring opponents by an average of 3.6 to 2.5.
The Penguins have also been dominant at home. However, they're a mediocre 4-3 on the road, getting outscored by a 3.0 to 2.9 average margin.
The Pens, who are dealing with some injuries at the moment, saw their 4-game winning streak snapped last time out, losing 5-1 to the Rangers. Note that they're only 7-11 (-8.4) the last 18 times that they scored one goal or less in their previous game.
During that time, the Pens were just 21-21 (-6.3) when playing a road game with an O/U line of 5.5. Meanwhile, the Blues are 12-3 (+7.5) when playing a home game with an O/U line of 5.5.
The Blues are now 18-5 (+12.5) their last 23 non-conference games. They've won five of six and I expect them to keep rolling for another night. 8*
|11-09-13||Toronto Maple Leafs v. Boston Bruins -186||1-3||Win||100||12 h 57 m||Show|
I'm playing on BOSTON. The Bruins are fairly heavy favorites here. However, I feel that the price is justified.
The Bruins tend to step up their game vs. division opponents and they've long dominated the Leafs. They're 6-1 (+4.4) in their seven games vs. the division, outscoring teams by an average score of 3.7 to 1.4.
Going back further finds them at 29-8 (+15.8) in division games the past couple of seasons. During that span, the Leafs are still only 14-19 (-4.4) in divisional games.
While the Leafs are 14-30 (-13.4) vs. teams with a winning record, the Bruins are 48-27 (+9.8) vs. winning teams.
The Bruins are 13-4 the last 17 in the series, 7-2 here at Boston. I expect them to continue that dominance this evening. 6*
|11-09-13||NY Islanders v. Columbus Blue Jackets -123||2-5||Win||100||12 h 57 m||Show|
I'm playing on COLUMBUS. Both these teams have gotten off to disappointing starts, each had hoped to be doing better. While each team should really want to get back on track, I expect the Blue Jackets to be a little more "desperate." Playing at home against a team which they have dominated, I expect that to translate to a victory.
The Jackets have now lost five straight. Four of those five games, including each of the last three, have come on Columbus. They hit the road after this though, making getting at least one home win all the more imperative. They've catching the Isles off a pair of road losses, games they got outscored by a combined 7-2 margin.
These teams met on 10/5, the Jackets winning 3-2. While that was at Long Island, over the years, they're also 6-1 as a host in the series. 8*
|11-07-13||NY Rangers v. Columbus Blue Jackets -133||4-2||Loss||-133||23 h 55 m||Show|
I'm playing on COLUMBUS. The Jackets badly need a win. With the venue and schedule in their favor, I expect them to get one.
While the Jackets had last night off, the Rangers are off a big emotional TV win. That's the type of win a team that can result in a letdown the next night.
Note that the Rangers, already without Nash, aren't expected to have #1 goalie Lundqvist between the pipes tonight. Lundqvist made 28 saves in last night's win. While rookie Cam Talbot has been solid thus far, he's still only got a few games under his belt.
While they haven't hosted the Rangers for some time, the Jackets are 5-1 the last six times the teams met here. With Gaborik fired up to face his former mates and the team desperate to snap their skid, I expect them to improve on those stats tonight. 9*
|11-05-13||Ottawa Senators v. Columbus Blue Jackets -130||4-1||Loss||-130||13 h 10 m||Show|
I'm playing on COLUMBUS. Both teams are on losing streaks, both should be desperate for a victory. Playing at home, I believe the Jackets will have the edge.
The Senators, expected to be without Craig Anderson, are having serious problems keeping the puck out of the net. They've allowed 20 goals their last four games, at least four in each of them. For the season, the Sens are allowing 3.4 goals per game. Columbus, on the other hand, allows 2.8 per game, 2.6 here at home.
The Jackets have still won three of their last five here at home. They're 2-1 on the season, when playing at home, after having played their previous game at home.
The Sens get to return home for an extended home stretch after this. They should snap their streak at that time - just not tonight.
While the teams haven't met often, the Jackets are 3-1 as hosts in the series. I expect them to continue that dominance Tuesday evening. 8*
|11-02-13||Detroit Red Wings v. Edmonton Oilers -106||Top||5-0||Loss||-106||15 h 23 m||Show|
I'm playing on EDMONTON. While the Wings come in as the hotter team, I like how this one sets up for the Oilers.
Edmonton has had the past few days off. That's not always a great thing. However, in the Oilers case, I believe the break came at the right time. That's because they'd lost four straight.
A look at the schedule shows that this will be the first time that the Oilers will have played back-to-back home games for more than three weeks. They're back on the road after this game, making it all the more important to take care of business tonight.
While the Oilers are well-rested, the Wings are off a hard-fought 4-3 win at Calgary. In addition to playing the second of back-to-back games, they're now playing their third game in the past four nights.
With the venue and schedule in their favor, I expect the Oilers to rise to the occasion, earning a badly needed two points. 10*
|11-01-13||Montreal Canadiens v. Minnesota Wild -120||3-4||Win||100||25 h 0 m||Show|
I'm playing on MINNESOTA. Western Conference teams have held the edge vs. Eastern Conference ones thus far. I expect that to be the case again in Minnesota this evening.
The Canadiens have been pretty stingy recently, which has helped to make up for a rash of injuries. Tonight, they'll take on a team that is also very capable defensively. Prior to a home-and-home series vs. high-scoring Chicago, the Wild had limited five of their previous eight opponents to one goal or less. Note that Montreal is only 7-12 (-4.8) the past couple of seasons, when playing a road game with an O/U line of five or less.
Even with the loss vs. Chicago, the Wild are outscoring teams by an average of 2.6 to 2.1 here, outshooting them by an average of 30.6 to 22.2.
While the Canadiens play former star goalie Patrick Roy and the red hot Colorado Avalanche tomorrow, the Wild have tomorrow night off.
While the Canadiens were 6-8 (-2.1) in November the past couple of seasons, the Wild were 11-4 (+7.8) in November. I expect them to start the month off with a win. 9*
|10-30-13||Boston Bruins v. Pittsburgh Penguins -131||2-3||Win||100||12 h 43 m||Show|
I'm playing on PITTSBURGH. Both these teams have been playing very well and one could easily make an argument for either. I believe that the Penguins, who have had this game circled ever since the schedule came out, will be a little more "hungry" though. That's because the Bruins swept them out of the Eastern Conference Finals last season, Crosby taking a punch on his just healed broken jaw in the process. Lets not forget that the Pens have beaten the Bruins six straight times in the regular season though. While the Bruins lost their last game, the Pens got back on track with a victory their last time out. I expect them to get a small measure of payback from last June, continuing their regular-season series dominance along the way. 8*
|10-29-13||NY Rangers v. NY Islanders -154||3-2||Loss||-154||11 h 47 m||Show|
I'm playing on the NEW YORK ISLANDERS. I believe both these teams are probably better than their early season records indicate. While the Rangers have dominated this rivalry in recent seasons, tonight, I believe the Isles will have the edge.
The Isles will be getting their first look at Thomas Vanek tonight. Vanek has a knack for finding the net and should provide an immediate boost. Expected to initially be on a line with Tavares, the Isles top line should be one of the most potent in the entire league.
Vanek, who figures to be thrilled to be away from rebuilding Buffalo, noted: "It's a fresh start for me and hopefully I can help these guys out right away. I'm just happy to be here right now, taking it all in. An opportunity like this doesn't come around much. I'm going to try to make the most of it."
The Rangers are off a 2-0 shutout loss last night. That was their first game in NY after a long 9-game road trip, one which saw them travel the entire country. I'm not sure that they're fully recovered from that trip quite yet. Note that the Rangers lost by a score of 9-2 the only previous time that they played the second of back-to-back games this season.
Note that the Rangers have now been blanked three times this season and that they've scored two or fewer goals in seven of 10 games.
While the Isles are being outscored by a 3.4 to 3.3 margin at home, the Rangers are being outscored by a 3.7 to 1.7 margin on the road.
Unlike their guests, the Isles are fresh. They've had the last couple of days off. They're 13-10 (+5.3) the past couple of seasons, when playing with two days rest in between games. (That's a considerably better winning percentage than they had when not playing with two day's rest.) They're sick of the Rangers dominating them and tonight I believe they'll serve notice that its a "new era" in NY. 9*
|10-25-13||Toronto Maple Leafs v. Columbus Blue Jackets -115||Top||2-5||Win||100||12 h 37 m||Show|
I'm playing on COLUMBUS. Off back to back victories, the Blue Jackets are starting to play well. This is a team which came into the season with very high expectations, believing this would be the year that they took the next step as a franchise. Things didn't start particularly well. However, the Jackets have won their last two games by a combined score of 7-2. I look for them to make it three in a row this evening.
Columbus center Brandon Dubinsky had this to say about his team's recent improved play:
In addition to having home ice advantage, note that the Jackets have the schedule in their favor. They had the last two nights off and they also get tomorrow night off. Their entire focus can be on the Leafs. On the other hand, Toronto has a big game vs. Pittsburgh on deck tomorrow.
Note that Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, the reigning Vezina Trophy winner, is 3-1 with a 2.26 goals-against average in four career starts vs the Leafs
While they've had some overall success on the road, the Leafs are being outshot by a 36.2 to 27.2 average margin, when playing away from Toronto. Facing a Columbus team which is outscoring teams by a 2.7 to 2.2 margin here, I expect it to catch up to the Leafs here. All things considered, price on home team seems more than fair. 10*
|10-24-13||Carolina Hurricanes v. Minnesota Wild -156||1-3||Win||100||12 h 2 m||Show|
I'm playing on MINNESOTA. The Wild got back on track with a 2-0 shutout win over the Predators last time out. It was a determined effort from a team which had been playing well but which hadn't been catching many breaks. I believe that they'll carry the positive momentum forward into tonight's contest.
The last time that the Wild were off a game vs. the Preds, they followed it up by winning their next three games. Note that the Wild are 10-4 (+7.5) the past couple of seasons, when off a win by two or more goals. During that time, they're also 4-2 (+3.2) when off a shutout win.
The Canes, who are off a 4-3 win vs. the Isles, are 5-21 (-16.5) the past couple of seasons, when off a divisional game. During that time, they're also 7-14 (-4.2) after scoring four or more goals in their previous game.
Note that the Canes, who give up 31.2 shots per game, are being outscored by an average score of 2.9 to 2.4.
The Wild are outshooting teams by a 31.4 to 19.6 average here, outscoring them by a 2.8 to 1.8 margin.
While the Canes, who have won three straight on the road, are admittedly playing well, they haven't won four consecutive road games in more than two years. They're also winless against teams from the west. Overall, western conference teams have had their way with those from the eastern conf. I expect that to continue this evening. 9*
|10-22-13||Nashville Predators v. Minnesota Wild -142||0-2||Win||100||12 h 34 m||Show|
I'm playing on MINNESOTA. While the Vikings didn't come through for me last night, I'm going back with another Minnesota team tonight.
The Wild, who have lost three straight overall, have had some early season struggles on the road. Each of their losses was on the road. They're 2-2 at home though, outshooting opponents by a 32 to 20.5 margin in those games, outscoring them by a 3.0 to 2.2 average. (The Preds are 2-2 on the road, getting outshot 33-30 and outscored 2.2 to 2.0. )
The Wild are also 2-1 in divisional play. The lone loss came against these same Predators, at Nashville. Note that Minnesota had a 34-20 edge in shots in that game.
Despite not winning games, the Wild have been playing hard. Coach Mike Yeo noted: "I'm disappointed for our guys. They're playing their tails off. We're playing great defensively, generating chances, but we're not winning games.
The Wild are 70-54 (+16.4) over the years when off three consecutive losses. They've had the edge against the Preds here over the years, most recently a 2-1 win here last February. Back on home ice, I expect their hard work and solid defense to pay off, as the revenge-minded Wild bounce back with an important two points. 9*
|10-19-13||Toronto Maple Leafs v. Chicago Blackhawks -175||1-3||Win||100||10 h 16 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHICAGO. The Leafs have gotten off to a great start. However, they lost last time out and I believe that they're in for a reality check tonight.
The Leafs have had success against losing teams. They're still a dismal 12-28 (-13.6) their last 40 against teams with a winning record though. Now, they'll take on arguably the best team in the league.
The Hawks are 16-5 (+7.4) the past 2+ seasons, when playing a home game with an O/U line of five or less. During that same time, they're also 43-29 (+7.4) against teams with a winning record and a dominating 20-9 (+9) against teams from the opposite conference.
Going back further finds the Hawks a perfect 7-0 their last seven against the Leafs. Off a loss and welcoming a former player (now with the Leafs) back, I expect them to be extra hungry and for them to continue their series dominance. 7*
|10-17-13||St Louis Blues v. Chicago Blackhawks -139||3-2||Loss||-139||12 h 5 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHICAGO. These teams have both gotten off to strong starts. They also just faced each other last week. That game appeared headed to OT, but the Blues scored with 21 seconds remaining, earning a 3-2 win.
Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said this of that loss: "You've got to get that game to overtime. You take one (point) maybe two. You don't get none. That's unacceptable. ... There was not a lot of mistakes. We played a good game. But you can't make a mistake like that."
Keep in mind that Quenneville used to coach at St. Louis, leading the Blues to seven straight playoff berths. One of the top coaches in the game, its safe to say that he doesn't want to get swept by his former club.
The Blues lost 6-2 last time out, their first loss of the season. They're just 6-9 the past couple of seasons, after allowing four or more goals in their previous game. They have yet to play a single game on the road.
The champs are outhsooting teams by a commanding 35.2 to 24 average margin through four games here. They've dominated the Blues here over the years and I expect them to get some payback tonight. 8*
|10-15-13||Florida Panthers v. Nashville Predators -157||3-4||Win||100||13 h 35 m||Show|
I'm playing on NASHVILLE. The Predators are winless on the road. However, they've won back to back home games, improving to 2-1 here on the season. I expect them to have the edge over the struggling Panthers, a team they have dominated here over the years.
While they don't face them too often, the Predators are undefeated when hosting the Panthers, this entire millennium. The Panthers are 0-4-2-1 in Nashville, since winning their first two games there. Their most recent win here came way back on Dec. 11, 1999.
The Panthers aren't just losing on the road, they're getting dominated. They've lost their last three road games by a combined score of 16-3.
The Panthers are 6-15 (-7.8) the past couple of seasons, when playing a road game with an O/U line of five or less. During that time, the Preds were 20-12 (+3) when playing a home game with an O/U line of five or less. I expect them to take care of business once again. 8*
|10-14-13||Edmonton Oilers v. Washington Capitals -154||2-4||Win||100||26 h 21 m||Show|
I'm playing on WASHINGTON. While this season hasn't started well, this should be a could spot for the Capitals to get back on track. Over the past 2+ seasons, they're 23-12 (+11.3) after allowing four or more goals in their previous game. During that stretch, they're also 22-14 (+3.3) when playing a home game with a n O/U line of 5.5 and 16-9 (+6.5) off a loss by two or more goals. They're also 5-2 (+2.4) the last seven times that they were off three or more consecutive losses.
On the other hand, the Oilers are 4-13 (-8.5) the last 2+ seasons, after scoring four or more goals in their previous game.
While the Caps have struggled in giving up a lot of goals, the Oilers are giving up even more - particularly on the road. In two games away from Edmonton, they've allowed 12 goals, six in each. In fact, they've allowed four or more goals in every one of their five games.
While they don't' face them often, the Caps are 7-2 (+3.7) the last nine times that they hosted the Oilers. Already 0-2 on the home stand, I expect the Caps to come out with a lot of intensity here, en route to a much needed two points. 8*
|10-12-13||NY Islanders v. Nashville Predators -115||2-3||Win||100||12 h 12 m||Show|
I'm playing on NASHVILLE. The Predators are off to a disappointing start, most recently losing 4-0 vs. Toronto a couple of nights ago. While I lost with them in that game, I'm willing to give them another shot here.
Nasvhille has the schedule in its favor. The Preds, which had last night off, catch the Isles off a 3-2 loss last night vs. Chicago, the defending Stanley Cup champion.
The Preds have been excellent in recent seasons, at bouncing back from a poor offensive performance. In fact, they're 13-3 (+11) the last 16 times that they were off a game in which they scored one goal or less, already 1-0 this season. They've had their way with the Isles here over the years and I look for that to continue tonight. 9*
|10-12-13||Dallas Stars v. Minnesota Wild -145||1-5||Win||100||12 h 12 m||Show|
I'm playing on MINNESOTA. Its been a lot of years since the old Minnesota North Stars left for Dallas. Yet, there are still a few fans in Minnesota who haven't forgotten. Whenever the "Stars" come to town, its still an extra big deal.
Both teams are off a win vs. the Jets in their last game. However, the Wild have had time off since their victory. The Stars just played at Winnipeg last night. While they did have a long break before facing the Jets, this will still be the first time all season that the Stars have played the second of back-to-back games.
The Wild know that they don't play at home again for another 10 days. I expect them to take care of business, rewarding the home fans with two points. 8*
|10-12-13||Colorado Avalanche v. Washington Capitals -131||5-1||Loss||-131||11 h 11 m||Show|
I'm playing on WASHINGTON. The Avs are off to a great start to the Patrick Roy coaching era. I expect them to come back down to earth here though.
The Capitals played a strong game last time out but came up short. A similar effort should be enough to win on most nights though.
While the Avs have admittedly been very stingy defensively, they're only averaging two goals per game on the road. I feel that they'll have some trouble keeping up with the Caps, who are averaging 3.5 gpg here at home.
I look for the Caps, who are 22-13 (+4.5) their last 35 on home ice with an O/U line of 5.5, to be a little more hungry here and for that to ultimately lead to two points. 8*
|10-11-13||Los Angeles Kings -120 v. Carolina Hurricanes||Top||2-1||Win||100||10 h 52 m||Show|
I'm playing on the LA KINGS. While they've had some trouble on the road, the schedule favors the Kings here. LA had last night off; the Hurricanes were involved in a hard-fought battle with rival Washington. I believe that will make a difference.
As noted, last night's game was "hard fought." The Canes twice had to erase 1-goal deficits. The game came against a division rival, one who was also a long-time division rival, prior to the recent realignment.
Carolina coach Kirk Muller said this of last night's win: "These are the games you have to reach down and give a little extra
|10-10-13||Toronto Maple Leafs v. Nashville Predators -105||4-0||Loss||-105||11 h 31 m||Show|
I'm playing on Nashville. The Leafs are off to a great start. However, they're dealing with some early season injuries and playing at a tough venue. They came back to earth a bit last time out, losing 2-1 to Colorado. The Predators started off 0-2 on the road. However, they played their home opener last time and won that. So, despite the 1-2 overall record, they bring some positive momentum to the table.
As captain Shea Weber noted: "It's always nice to win the first one and try to build some confidence, some good things and keep moving forward when we're at home because we're going to be on the road quite a while."
The Preds, who have had success against the Leafs here (in limited games) over the years, are 10-5 the last 15 times that they played a home game with an O/U line of 5.5, a situation they've long thrived in. I expect them to come out on top and believe the price is more than fair. 9*
|10-10-13||Carolina Hurricanes v. Washington Capitals -152||3-2||Loss||-152||10 h 33 m||Show|
I'm playing on WASHINGTON. The Capitals may be 1-2. However, they're 1-0 here at home and they've got their superstar (Ovechkin) seemingly back in top form. That's bad news for the Hurricanes, as Ovechkin routinely killed them (65 points in 52 games) when the Caps and Canes were division rivals. The Caps beat the Canes four of five times last year, including each of the last three. Going back over the years finds Washington at 29-15-2 its last 46 as a host in the series. The Canes are already 0-1 on the road, giving up five goals and losing 5-2. The Caps have had some extra time off in between games. That isn't always a good thing. However, in their case, I believe a break early in the season came at the right time. I feel the Caps bring more to the table and I look for them to come out energized and fired up to face a former division rival. 9*
|10-09-13||Ottawa Senators v. Los Angeles Kings -144||3-4||Win||100||14 h 15 m||Show|
I'm playing on LA. The Kings figure to be in a foul mood. They've dropped back-to-back games and everyone's been laughing at their star goalie. Ottawa should be the perfect opponent to take their frustrations out on.
The Kings have won seven of their last nine games with the Senators. In 13 all-time home games in the series, the Kings boast an 11-1-0 record with one tie. Dominance.
How about Quick, the goalie everyone's laughing at? (If you haven't seen it, he gave up a horrendous goal last game.) All he's done is go 3-1-0 with a 1.76 GAA and one shutout in four career starts vs. the Sens. I expect Quick to bounce back with a big effort and for the entire team to rally around him.
While the Sens have had a few days off, note that they're only 4-7 (-3.1) the past couple of seasons, when playing with three or more day's rest in between games.
Knowing that they won't play again here for another 10 days should add to the Kings' sense of urgency tonight. Given the situation, venue and series history, I expect a win for the Kings and believe that the price is reasonable. 9*
|10-08-13||NY Rangers v. San Jose Sharks -159||2-9||Win||100||15 h 45 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN JOSE. The Sharks appear poised for a big year and are playing very well out of the gate. They've won both their games by identical 4-1 margins. Here, they catch the Rangers on a West Coast road trip and off a win at LA last night.
Including their win last time out, the Sharks are now 16-8 (+5.2) the last 24 times that they were off a win of two or more goals. During that stretch, they're also 16-6 (+6.8) when playing a home game with an O/U line of five or less.
The Sharks fired 51 shots at the net last time out and are outshooting opponents by an average of 43 to 22.5. As Marc-Edouard Vlasic noted: "When you put up 50 shots you get rewarded." With the schedule in their favour, I expect the Sharks to keep on rolling for another day. 7*
|10-08-13||Tampa Bay Lightning v. Buffalo Sabres -111||3-2||Loss||-111||12 h 44 m||Show|
I'm playing on BUFFALO. Already 0-3 and off to the worst 3-game start in franchise history, the Sabres figure to be desperate for a victory here. Facing an opponent which they have long dominated here, I expect them to get it.
As Buffalo forward Cody Hodgson noted: "We're going to have to figure it out real quick because these losses are piling up."
While the Lightning did earn a win last time out, they were fortunate to do so, having been outshot 39-16. Even coach Jon Cooper noted: "I was looking for the police when we left the locker room because I thought we'd get arrested for stealing. We stole two points."
The Sabres are 6-3 (+3.5) the past couple of years off three or more consecutive losses, going 7-3 (+5.1) when off three consecutive "unders." I expect their best effort to lead to a much-needed two points. 8*
|10-08-13||Florida Panthers v. Philadelphia Flyers -156||1-2||Win||100||11 h 14 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHILADELPHIA. Already 0-3 on the season, the Flyers figure to be desperate here. The Panthers, who were destroyed 7-0 last time out, figure to be the perfect opponent to provide them an opportunity for that first win.
While they've had a couple of days off since the debacle at St. Louis, the Panthers are a money-burning 78-122 (-47!) the last 200 times that they played with two day's rest in between games, 5-10 their last 15 in that situation.
The Flyers played well out of the gate in their lone home game but couldn't capitalize. Stepping down in class, I expect a full 60-minute effort, en route to an important two points. 7*
|10-07-13||New Jersey Devils v. Edmonton Oilers -126||4-5||Win||100||15 h 41 m||Show|
I'm playing on EDMONTON. Both teams come in winless and hungry for their first victory.. Playing in their own building and getting one of their top young stars in the lineup, I expect the Oilers to be the team that gets it.
Nugent-Hopkins is back from injury and has stated he's "feeling good." He should provide an emotional boost.
The Devils have a number of new faces in their lineup, prompting Brodeur to acknowledge: "It's going to take time a little bit. I think we need to give ourselves a little time here
|10-05-13||Edmonton Oilers v. Vancouver Canucks -142||2-6||Win||100||14 h 57 m||Show|
I'm playing on VANCOUVER. The Canucks had a tough opening game, as they had to play out at San Jose. They lost 4-1. Playing their home opener and facing a team they have long dominated here, I expect them to bounce back with a victory.
The Oilers lost vs. Winnipeg on Tuesday and haven't played since. Over the last couple of seasons, they're 2-7 (-5.9) when playing with three or more day's rest in between games and 8-16 (-7.4) vs. divisional opponents.
Over the last couple of seasons, the Canucks have gone 12-6 after scoring one goal or less in their previous game, 17-9 when playing a home game with an O/U line of 5.5 and a dominating 18-7 (+5.9) against divisional opponents.
The Canucks haven't dropped their first two games in more than a decade. Needless to say, new coach Tortorella doesn't want to be the first to do so. The Canucks are 9-2 (9-1-1) the last 11 times that they were a host in the series, the Sedin twins picking the Oilers apart. The Canucks were laying a minimum of -170 for 10 of those 11 games and as much as -300 in a couple of them. We're getting a far more reasonable price to work with here, which I feel is providing us with fair value. 9*
|10-04-13||Calgary Flames v. Columbus Blue Jackets -178||4-3||Loss||-178||11 h 1 m||Show|
I'm playing on COLUMBUS. The Jackets come into this season with a lot more hope than normal. They were very hot (19-5-3 since early March) down the stretch last year and are now moving over to the Eastern Conference, a big bonus in reduced travel - and perhaps slightly lesser competition.
Columbus forward R.J. Umberger noted: "We expect nothing short of being in the playoffs this year. That's our goal.''
Tonight, the Jackets get to face a team they have dominated - and there aren't many of those - and they catch that same team off a hard-fought shootout loss, one which saw them squander two 3-goal leads.
With last night's loss, the Flames are 5-17 their last 22 on the road, when the total was 5.5. I expect the Jackets to be too much for them. 6*
|10-02-13||Toronto Maple Leafs v. Philadelphia Flyers -131||3-1||Loss||-131||29 h 21 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHILADELPHIA. Situation favors the home team here. The Flyers, who have some important new faces, are playing their season opener. Leafs are off emotional road win vs. archrival Montreal.
Philadelphia got off to a poor start last season and never recovered. I expect this year's team to be highly motivated to avoid that happening again.
Coach Peter Laviolette noted the following: "Every team's objective is to get off to a good start. We didn't get one last year. We were disappointed about that, and it put us behind the eight-ball. We scratched and clawed all year, and it didn't work out for us."
The Leafs may have won here last season but the Flyers had previously had their number here for years. I expect the home fans to go home happy. 8* personal favorite
|06-22-13||Boston Bruins v. Chicago Blackhawks -143||Top||1-3||Win||100||55 h 14 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHICAGO. With both teams having won twice and with three of four games going to OT, needless to say, its been a very close series. I still feel the Hawks bring more to the table though and believe that they've been a little stronger. With the series shifting back to Chicago, I expect them to have the edge.
The Hawks have had an edge in shots on goal in three of the four games, including both here at Chicago. They fired 97 combined shots at Rask in those two games. Last game, the Hawks had a 47-33 edge in shots.
For the season, the Hawks are outscoring teams by a 3.2 to 2.2 margin here, outshooting them 34.7 to 27.2. While the Bruins are 18-15 on the road, the Hawks are a dominating 28-8 here.
The Hawks are 19-6 (+9.9) the last 25 times that they scored four or more goals in their previous game. They're also 17-5 their last 22 home games when the O/U line was at five or less. I expect those stats to improve here. 9* main event
|06-12-13||Boston Bruins v. Chicago Blackhawks -143||Top||3-4||Win||100||36 h 12 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHICAGO. Both teams were impressive in the last series. Many seem to view Boston's sweep of the Penguins as a bigger feat than Chicago's five-game series victory over the Kings. However, keep in mind that the Kings were the defending champs - they were also a team that plays a similar type of game than the Bruins. Ultimately, the Hawks were just too much for them. I expect that to be the case in this series too.
To be fair, the Bruins have been getting it done on both sides of the rink - scoring goals and getting great goal-tending. The same can be said for the Hawks though.
I believe they bring more to the table. They're loaded, very well-coached and playing at home.
The Bruins outscored teams by a 2.7 to 2.3 margin on the road this season. Admittedly, that's pretty good. However, the Hawks outscored teams by a 3.2 to 2.2 margin here at Chicago. That's even better. The Hawks outshot visiting teams by a dominating 33.9 to 26.4 margin here too.
While the Bruins are a modest 8-7 when playing a road game with an O/U line of five or less, the Hawks are a commanding 16-4 (+8.6) when playing a home game with an O/U line of five or less. All things considered, I believe the price is more than fair. 9*
|06-03-13||BOSTON GM2 v. PITTSBURGH GM2 -180||6-1||Loss||-180||33 h 6 m||Show|
I'm playing on PITTSBURGH. The Penguins certainly didn't fare too well in Game 1. They'd had a long time off in between games though. Now desperate for a win and playing on regular rest, I fully expect them to bounce back with a much better effort.
Even with the Game 1 loss, the Pens are still a dominating 17-4 (+11.4) their last 21 against teams with a winning record.
The Pens are also 13-4 (+7.6) the last 17 times that they attempted to avenge an earlier home loss.
The Bruins are only 3-3 (-0.8) off a shutout win and they're also only 7-9 (-.5.6) the past couple of seasons, when leading in a playoff series.
The Pens are arguably the most talented team in the entire league. I expect the cream to rise to the top here, as Crosby and co. bounce back and improve to 57-25 the past few seasons, when playing a home game with an O/U line of 5.5. 7* Main Event
|06-01-13||Los Angeles Kings v. Chicago Blackhawks -144||Top||1-2||Win||100||40 h 48 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHICAGO. I hear a lot of talk about the Kings having the advantage in this series. I'm not buying it though. At the very least, I believe the Hawks will have the edge in the opener.
The Kings may have survived their series against the Sharks but they lost all three of the road games. They're just 9-21 (-13.6) their last 30 away from LA, getting outscored by a 2.9 to 2.2 margin.
By comparison, the Hawks are 24-7 (+12) here at Chicago, outscoring teams by a 3.2 to 2.2 margin.
The Kings are a particularly brutal 6-21 (-16.6) their last 27 when playing a road game with an O/U line of five or less. The Hawks, on the other hand, are 19-8 (+5.4) their last 27 when playing a home game with an O/U line of five or less.
I believe the Hawks will be too much for them and expect home ice to prove significant. 9* personal favorite
|05-29-13||Detroit Red Wings v. Chicago Blackhawks -204||1-2||Win||100||11 h 7 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHICAGO. I've backed the Hawks a couple of times in this series and I still believe that they're going to be the team which advances to the next round.
The Hawks are simply loaded with stars. Toews, arguably their best player, didn't get off to a good start in the playoffs. However, with his team down and out, Toews has come to life the last two games.
When they score, the Hawks are very tough to beat and they tend to build off that. Indeed, they're 17-4 (+10.4) after scoring four or more goals in their previous game.
While the Wings have been outscored on the road this season, the Hawks are outscoring teams by a 3.3 to 2.2 margin here at Chicago.
The Wings are only 14-23 (-7.2) the past couple of seasons, when playing a road game with an O/U line of five or less. During the same stretch, the Hawks are 18-8 (+4.4) when playing a home game with an O/U line of five or less.
These long-time rivals have played two Game 7s against each other over the years - both back in the 60s. The Hawks won both. I expect history to repeat itself tonight. 6*
|05-25-13||DETROIT GM5 v. CHICAGO GM5 -197||1-4||Win||100||31 h 19 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHICAGO. Like most bettors, I typically prefer to avoid prices that are this high. However, unlike some, when I feel that the price should actually be higher - and when I really feel that my team has an extra strong chance of winning, I will pull the trigger on games in this range. That's how I feel here.
The Hawks were the best team in the west all season and they easily won in the first round. The Wings barely snuck into the playoffs and then were fortunate to survive against Anaheim.
While the Wings are 14-22 the past couple of seasons, when playing a road game with an O/U line of five or less, the Hawks are 17-8 when playing a home game with an O/U line of five or less.
The Hawks, who have dominated divisional opponents in recent seasons, are still 7-2 after scoring one goal or less in their previous game. I'm not counting them out yet. 6* personal favorite
|05-23-13||Chicago Blackhawks -138 v. Detroit Red Wings||0-2||Loss||-138||10 h 10 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHICAGO. Home ice is worth a lot at the betting window. However, in the NHL playoffs, its not always quite as important as is reflected by the price. In many cases, like last night in Ottawa - and tonight at Detroit - we're able to get able to get a superior team at a reasonable price, just because that team is on the road. In this case, we've got arguably the most complete team in the league, in a near "must win" spot - and we're getting them priced as a fairly modest favorite. I feel that's providing us with very fair value.
The Hawks are still 12-5 (+5.1) the last 17 times that they faced an opponent which defeated them in the previous meeting. They're also 7-1 (+5.6) the last eight times that they scored one goal or less in their previous game. I expect them to bounce back with their best effort. 9* personal favorite
|05-22-13||Pittsburgh Penguins -138 v. Ottawa Senators||7-3||Win||100||10 h 29 m||Show|
I'm playing on PITTSBURGH. The Senators, who have been dealing with adversity all season, deserve a lot of credit for even getting this far. That said, I believe they're in over their heads here.
The Penguins are the most talented team in the East, if not the league. They've also been playing like it for many weeks now. Crosby is likely the best player in the world - but this Pittsburgh team was so good that it still rolled along without him in the lineup.
True, the Sens did rally to win Game 3 here at Ottawa. However, the Pens have been superb on the road all season. (They're 20-8 away from Pittsburgh, outscoring teams by a 3.6 to 2.9 margin.) They know they can't afford to let this series drag on, particularly after seeing the Bruins go up 3-0 in their series last night.
|05-21-13||Los Angeles Kings v. San Jose Sharks -129||1-2||Win||100||27 h 49 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN JOSE. Home ice has been huge for both of these teams this season, so its no huge surprise that the home team has won every game thus far.
The Sharks were 17-7 (17-2-5) here in the regular season and that included a pair of wins over Los Angeles. They're undefeated here in the playoffs. Conversely, the Kings were only 8-16 (8-12-4) away from LA this season.
While the Kings are a dismal 6-19 (-14.6) the last 25 times that they played a road game with an O/U line of five or less, the Sharks are 30-14 (+7) the last 44 times that they played a home game with an O/U line of five or less.
I expect home ice to again prove significant and given the home/road stats, I feel that the price is very fair. 9*
|05-21-13||Boston Bruins v. NY Rangers -135||Top||2-1||Loss||-135||24 h 20 m||Show|
I'm playing on NEW YORK. The Rangers have been a different team on home ice. They're down 2-0 but they've been here before. Just last series, in fact. The responded by winning Game 3 and Game 4, here at MSG.
Coach Tortorella had this to say: "You don't want to be down 2-0. We know what hole we're in, but by no means is this a really bad thing. We need to win a game and try to get momentum on our side. Last year, we had to win a couple in a row and we were going back and forth with wins and losses. We've been in this situation for a long time the past couple of years. I am not worried about that. I just want to make sure we correct the things we need to correct, and I think we'll be OK."
Even with the Game 2 win, the Bruins are still just 5-8 (-5.6) the last 13 times that they were leading in a playoff series.
The Rangers beat the Bruins here back in January and have outscored teams by a 3.2 to 2.1 margin here on the season.
The Rangers are 30-16 (+11) the last few seasons, after allowing four or more goals, going 6-0 their last six in that situation. I expect them to bounce back with their best effort. 9*
|05-18-13||Los Angeles Kings v. San Jose Sharks -129||Top||1-2||Win||100||13 h 39 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN JOSE. The Sharks are in a hole but I'm not ready to count them out quite yet. The Sharks had an edge in overall shots in the two games at LA. They easily could be 1-1 here, if not better. Now, they get to play at home. Not only are they much better at home but the Kings aren't typically as strong on the road.
The Sharks are 19-7 at home. They outscore teams by a 3.2 to 2.1 margin here.
Conversely, the Kings are 8-19 on the road, getting outscored by a 3.0 to 2.4 margin.
While the Kings are 6-18 (-13.6) when playing a road game with an O/U line of five or less, the Sharks are 29-14 (+5.9) their last 43 when playing at home with an O/U line of five or less.
The Sharks are 8-3 the last 11 times that they hosted the Kings, going 34-16 the last 50. I expect them to continue that home ice series dominance here. *10 personal favorite
|05-09-13||NY Islanders v. Pittsburgh Penguins -214||0-4||Win||100||10 h 33 m||Show|
I'm playing on PITTSBURGH. The Pens have already received a bigger fight than many were expecting. That's kept this price lower than it could have been. That might sound funny, when they are laying greater than -200. However, this price is still lower than the Chicago price - and I feel it could easily be closer to the -300 range.
The Pens are 57-37 the last few seasons, when playing with "revenge." That includes an 11-4 (+3.6) their last 15 in that role.
They're also 16-7 (+4.4) after scoring four or more goals in their previous game, going 60-32 (+12.5) in that situation the past few seasons.
The Pens are 6-1 when playing a home game with an O/U line of six or greater while the Isles are only 1-3 when playing a road game with an O/U line of six or greater. I expect the "cream to rise to the top" and the Pens to take care of business. 6*
|05-08-13||Washington Capitals v. NY Rangers -131||3-4||Win||100||10 h 41 m||Show|
I'm playing on the RANGERS. The home team has won every game so far in this series. I expect that trend to continue for at least another night. Down 2-0 in games, the Rangers fell behind early in Game 3. They didn't fold though, eventually battling back for the win. Now they've got confidence and momentum. While I also respect the Capitals, this is a Rangers team, which I feel, is built for the playoffs. They've outscored teams by a commanding 3.2 to 2.2 margin here this season, outshooting them by an average of 32.1 to 27.5. On the other hand, the Caps give up three goals a game on the road and get outshot 33.1 to 27.3. 9* personal favorite
|05-06-13||Anaheim Ducks v. Detroit Red Wings -123||2-3||Win||100||8 h 53 m||Show|
I'm playing on DETROIT. Many are writing the Wings off in this one. However, I'm not counting them out yet.
As coach Babcock noted yesterday: ''I'm going to say we were right there knocking on the door and we're going to win tomorrow and make it a best-of-three."
The Wings are 9-3 (+6.3) the last dozen times that they failed to score more than one goal in their previous game. I expect their best effort this evening and feel that the low price tag is more than fair. 8* annihilator
|05-06-13||Washington Capitals v. NY Rangers -141||Top||3-4||Win||100||11 h 58 m||Show|
I'm playing on the NEW YORK RANGERS. The Capitals won both games at Washington. I'm not counting the Rangers out yet though. Back in their own building and playing a "must win" game, I expect the Rangers to respond with their best effort.
While they've had trouble on the road all season, the Rangers are an entirely different team here at MSG. In fact, they're 16-8 (16-6-2) here on the season. That's a lot better than the Caps' 12-12 (12-10-2) mark away from Washington.
Overall, the Rangers outscored teams by a commanding 3.2 to 2.1 margin here.
The Rangers have been particularly strong here recently. In fact, they've won six straight games here. They won those games by a combined score of 27-7!
The Rangers have taken three of the last four as a host against the Caps.
Even with the Game 2 loss, the Rangers are still 63-48 (+9.4) the past few seasons, when attempting to avenge an earlier loss.
When asked if the Rangers were discouraged, Rangers coach John Tortorella had this to say: "That is the furthest thing as a worry for me. This is a good group of guys, and last time I remember you need four games to win a series. Our guys are fully aware of that." 9* personal favorite
|05-03-13||SAN JOSE GM2 v. VANCOUVER GM2 -139||Top||3-2||Loss||-139||32 h 32 m||Show|
I'm playing on VANCOUVER. Home ice didn't help the Canucks in the opener, as they fell by a 3-1 margin. Now with their backs against the wall, I expect the Canucks to play with urgency and to even up the series.
The Sharks are a good team and I respect them. However, one can't ignore the fact that they're 9-16 on the road, outscored by a 2.7 to 2.2 margin in those games.
The Canucks are 31-11 (+17) the past few seasons, when facing a team that beat them at Vancouver in the previous meeting. This is a loaded team, one which won the President's Trophy in the previous two seasons. I'm not counting them out yet. 9* personal favorite
|05-03-13||OTTAWA GM2 v. MONTREAL GM2 -143||1-3||Win||100||8 h 17 m||Show|
I'm playing on MONTREAL. The Senators grabbed yesterday's series opener. I expect the revenge-minded Canadiens to settle the score this evening.
The Canadiens had a 50-31 edge in shots last night. That type of effort will lead to a victory more often than not.
Seeing one of their players go down with a concussion combined with being desperate to avoid going down 0-2, should ensure we get the Habs' best effort tonight.
The Canadiens are 7-2 (+6.4) the last nine times that they played the second of back-to-back games, going 8-4 (+2.9) after allowing four or more goals in their previous game.
The Habs are still outscoring teams by a 2.9 to 2.4 margin here. I expect them to be the hungrier team and that to lead to a very important win. 8* feast
|05-01-13||San Jose Sharks v. Vancouver Canucks -131||3-1||Loss||-131||13 h 57 m||Show|
I'm playing on VANCOUVER. The home team won all three games in yesterday's NHL playoff action. I expect home ice to again provide an advantage here.
The Sharks were 8-16 (8-14-2) on the road. The Canucks were 15-9 (15-6-3) here at Vancouver.
The Canucks outscored teams by a 2.9 to 2.2 margin here. The Sharks were outscored by an average margin of 2.8 to 2.1 on the road.
The Sharks had their way with the Canucks in the regular season. However, that was also true of the Kings against the Blues and we saw St. Louis prove that the playoffs are an entirely new season.
The Canucks are 61-29 (+15.8) the past few seasons, when facing an opponent which defeated them in the last meeting. During that time, they're also 14-3 (+8.8) when playing with three or more day's rest in between games.
While I respect both teams, considering their home/road records, I feel the price on Vancouver is more than fair. 8*
|04-30-13||Los Angeles Kings v. St Louis Blues -117||1-2||Win||100||11 h 37 m||Show|
I'm playing on ST. LOUIS. As the defending champions, the Kings certainly deserve respect. That said, this is an entirely different season and I feel that the Kings are getting a little "too much" respect here.
Lets not forget that the Kings were only 8-16 (8-12-4) on the road this season, getting outscored by an average margin of 3.1 to 2.5.
Lets also keep in mind that the Blues were 15-9 (15-8-1) at home, oustscoring teams by a 2.5 to 2.2 margin.
The Blues, who were swept by the Kings in the playoffs last season (and again this regular season) are peaking at the right time. They've won 12 of their last 15. Needless to say, they feel that they've got a score to settle.
Coach Hitchcock had this to say: "'Look, we haven't beaten them in two years. I think we're really hungry for this series ..."
While the Kings have the "playoff experience," the Blues have home ice advantage tonight and have something to prove. I believe that they're better than the team that the Kings beat last season and I look for them to demonstrate it tonight. 8*
|04-27-13||Chicago Blackhawks v. St Louis Blues -157||Top||1-3||Win||100||11 h 54 m||Show|
I'm playing on ST. LOUIS. The Hawks were the "best in the west" during this regular season and are admittedly a very strong team. However, the Blues are playing as well as any team of late and I like how this one sets up for them.
A 4-1 victory on Thursday brought the Blues to 11-3 on the month, including five straight victories at home. That surge has given them a chance to clinch home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. However, to guarantee that will happen, they need a victory today.
Conversely, the Hawks already have the #1 seed wrapped up.
In other words, this is a bigger game for the Blues.
Blues coach Ken Hitchcock had this to say: "It's an important game. You move on one way or the other, but it's an important game.
Hitchcock went on to say: "Chicago's arguably the best team in a long time in the league the way they've played. We're going to have to be at our best to win the hockey game. ... It's obviously more important for us than it is for them."
In addition to needing the game more and having home ice advantage, the Blues also have the schedule in their favor. They had yesterday off while the Hawks are off a relatively hard-fought win vs. Calgary last night.
Admittedly, Chicago has fared very well when playing the second of back-to-back games. However, its possible the Hawks may be without Toews (arguably their best player) here.
St. Louis goalie Brian Elliott has been outstanding of late, winning 10 of his last 12 games with a 1.30 GAA and three shutouts. He's started every time during the five-game home winning streak, compiling a 0.97 GAA.
The Blues, who were beaten by the Hawks here less than two weeks ago and who haven't lost here since, are 7-2 the last nine times that they were attempting to avenge an earlier home loss. I expect them to rise to the occasion, earning an important two points. *8 Main Event
|04-25-13||Columbus Blue Jackets v. Dallas Stars -125||Top||3-1||Loss||-125||21 h 6 m||Show|
I'm playing on DALLAS. This is a huge game for both teams, arguably bigger for the Stars. With it being played at Dallas, I expect the Stars to have the advantage.
With the Wings winning last night, both these teams are currently on the outside looking in. The Jackets, currently in ninth, trail the Wings by one point. The Stars, currently in 10th, are four points back of the Wings.
In other words, the Stars' chances are pretty slim. That said, they're not mathematically eliminated yet - although they will be with a loss tonight.
Misery loves company. Even if the Stars don't make the playoffs, beating Columbus will help to ensure that the Jackets don't either.
The fact that they've lost four straight on the road is a big reason why the Stars find themselves in such a precarious situation. They've been a much better team here at home though.
A look at the Stars' last three home games show that they've gone 3-0 while beating three really good (Vancouver, San Jose, LA) teams. They won those games by a combined score of 12-3, too.
The Jackets have certainly improved in recent weeks. However, they're still 9-14 on the road and they've still been outscored by a 2.9 to 2.3 margin when playing away from Columbus.
The Stars outshot the Jackets 39-20 the last meeting, winning 2-1. While the playoffs are obviously a longshot, I expect their best effort tonight en route to a critical two points. 10* personal favorite
|04-24-13||Toronto Maple Leafs v. Tampa Bay Lightning -107||2-5||Win||100||9 h 33 m||Show|
I'm playing on TAMPA. While the Leafs have enjoyed a far more successful season, I believe that the Lightning will be the "hungrier" team this evening. I expect that to translate to a victory.
The Leafs are saying all the right things about playing hard and taking this game seriously. However, after securing their first playoff berth in nearly a decade, I believe that they're ripe for a letdown. Perhaps more than any other city, Toronto loves its hockey team. Fans of the Leafs have suffered for my entire life and therefore making the playoffs is a huge deal. Getting up for a game vs. a non-playoff team figures to be a challenge.
Conversely, playing their final home game vs. a "playoff team," (TB hosts Florida on Saturday but the Panthers aren't going to the playoffs) and trying to snap an extended losing streak, I expect the Lightning to be quite motivated.
Lightning coach Jon Cooper had this to say: "Is it human nature to look and see our last game is Saturday? Yeah. It's probably a little deflating for some of these guys to know we're out of it, but for me it's pride. I want to see who's got that fire in the belly. Guys are playing for jobs next year. We want to see, regardless of where you are in the standings, who's going to bring it every night."
I expect the Lightning to play with "more fire in their belly" and for them to end their losing streak. 9* best bet
|04-23-13||Dallas Stars v. San Jose Sharks -175||2-3||Win||100||16 h 38 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN JOSE. The Stars have had their way with the Sharks this season, winning all three meetings. I expect that to provide the Sharks, who haven't been swept by the Stars in a decade, with some extra incentive tonight.
True, the Stars are desperate for points. That hasn't helped them lately though, as they've dropped three of their last four, including two straight.
The Sharks lost last time out but are still 11-4 (11-3-1) their last 15 games. They've only lost two home games in regulation this entire season.
The Sharks are outscoring teams by a 3.0 to 2.0 margin here at home, outshooting them by a 32.3 to 28.5 margin. On the other hand, the Stars are being outscored on the road and being outshot by a 29.7 to 26 margin.
Note that the Sharks are 26-14 the last 40 times that they played a home game with an O/U line of five or less.
While the price might seem a little steep, keep in mind that the Sharks are laying -210 when they hosted the Stars a few weeks ago. Its payback time. 7*
|04-23-13||Calgary Flames v. Nashville Predators -141||Top||3-4||Win||100||14 h 34 m||Show|
I'm playing on NASHVILLE. These teams are both "playing out the string." In such cases, the more motivated team is often the team which comes away with the two points. Tonight, I expect the Predators to be the hungrier squad.
The Preds are currently mired in an extended slump and have certainly endured a difficult season. I still believe that they're more talented than the version of the Flames which they'll face tonight though. Knowing that this is their home finale, I expect them to go all out, in order to give the home fans one last victory.
Coach Barry Trotz noted: "Everybody's pushing to try to get a win.''
Admittedly, the Flames have played some of their best hockey recently. However, each of their recent victories has come when they had something to really play for. Last game, they faced Minnesota. Not only are the Wild fighting for the playoffs, they also had beaten the Flames, at Calgary, less than a week previous. Prior to that, the Flames beat Anaheim, another "playoff team" and a game that was being billed as Kiprusoff's last game in front of the Calgary faithful. Other recent wins have all come against "playoff teams" or against Edmonton, a hated rival which had embarrassed them to start the month.
The Flames, who recently traded Iginla and who are without leading goal scorer Curtis Glencross, have dropped three straight on the road in the series.
Note that the Flames are a horrible 23-44 (-24.7) the past few seasons, after scoring four or more goals in their previous game. That includes a 4-11 mark their last 15 in that situation.
Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne is likely to get the start, considering that he's 4-1-0 with a 1.96 GAA in his last six starts vs the Flames. Either way, I fully expect the Preds' best effort and for that to result in a "W." 10* GOY
|04-22-13||Phoenix Coyotes v. Detroit Red Wings -149||0-4||Win||100||10 h 11 m||Show|
I'm playing on DETROIT. These teams both desperately need a win here. With the game being played at Detroit, I expect the Wings to have the advantage.
The Coyotes have struggled (6-16) away from Phoenix all season long. Scoring 2.1 goals per game (while allowing 2.8) doesn't help matters.
Detroit's captain Henrik Zetterberg noted: "We don't care how our home record is now. We know we got to win games to get into the postseason. Of course, we're happy to be at home than on the road, but we got to go in and focus on Monday."
The Wings are 7-3 (+4.1) after scoring one goal or less in their previous game. The Coyotes are an ugly 5-12 (-5.9) when playing a road game with an O/U line of five or less.
Throw in the fact that the Wings are 5-0 the last five times that they were a host in this series and 13-4 the last 17 and I feel that this price is more than fair. *9 personal favorite
|04-20-13||Washington Capitals v. Montreal Canadiens -142||5-1||Loss||-142||10 h 15 m||Show|
I'm playing on MONTREAL. These teams enter this evening's game on different notes. The Capitals had been on an extended winning streak but lost 3-1 vs. Ottawa last time out. Conversely, the Canadiens had been blown out three games in a row, before winning 3-2 vs. Tampa last time out. I expect the Habs to build off that victory tonight, while the Caps lose their second straight.
Its true that the road team has won both this season's meetings. However, that doesn't mean that home ice isn't important to both these teams.
The Habs are outscoring teams by a 3.0 to 2.3 margin here at Montreal this season, outshooting their guests by a 30.3 to 26.5 margin.
On the other hand, the Caps are getting outshot by a 33.1 to 27.2 margin outside of Washington, getting outscored by a 3.0 to 2.9 margin in those games.
Note that Washington, which has a huge game vs. Winnipeg (possible look-ahead situation) on deck, is only 22-28 (-13.8) after scoring one goal or less in its previous game.
Off the big win last time, Montreal's Brian Gionta had this to say: "It's big for our confidence ..."
I expect the Canadiens, who are trying to hold off Boston for top spot in the Northeast, to build momentum from that win, en route to earning another important two points here. 9* personal favorite
|04-18-13||Columbus Blue Jackets v. Los Angeles Kings -184||1-2||Win||100||13 h 20 m||Show|
I'm playing on the LA KINGS. The Jackets are hot right now and they earned another important win at Anaheim last night. I expect them to have considerably more trouble against the defending champs tonight though.
Last night's game vs. the Ducks went to OT. So, it was certainly of the hard-fought variety. In fact, that's three straight games that the Jackets have played, which were decided after regulation. This will now be their fifth game in the past seven days, about as grueling a stretch as you'll get in the NHL. (The Kings will be playing just their third game during the same stretch.)
Note that Columbus is 15-29 (-7.2) its last 44 when playing in a second of back-to-back games situation.
The Kings, who had yesterday off, have handled the Jackets. They're 2-0 in the season series, outshooting them by a combined 53-33 margin. In the lone game here at LA, the Jackets managed a mere 13 shots.
Including that 2/15 victory, the Kings are 16-5 (+7.8) when playing a home game with an O/U line of five or less. With the schedule in their favor, I expect the champs to improve on those stats this evening. 8* blue marlin
|04-16-13||Vancouver Canucks v. St Louis Blues -135||1-2||Win||100||10 h 42 m||Show|
I'm playing on ST. LOUIS. Its entirely possible that these teams could meet in the first round of the postseason. First, however, the Blues need to make sure that they're even in the playoffs. That being the case, I expect them to be a little more hungry than their guests tonight.
Of course, playing on home ice - and having a scheduling advantage - should also work in the Blues favor. While the Canucks played last night, the Blues have been off since Sunday.
With an O/U line of five, this is expected to be a fairly low-scoring game. Note that the Canucks are only 19-21 (-9) the last 40 times that they played a game with an O/U line of five or less.
On the other hand, during that same stretch, the Blues are 38-21 (+5.4) when playing a home game with an O/U line of five or less.
While they've split this season's meetings (both at Vancouver) the Blues have taken two of the last three as a host in this series. I expect them to take care of business again tonight. 9* Western Conf. Personal Fav.
|04-16-13||Toronto Maple Leafs v. Washington Capitals -150||Top||1-5||Win||100||9 h 47 m||Show|
I'm playing on WASHINGTON. The Leafs beat me last night. However, with the exception of their goalie, they really didn't play that well. In fact, they were outshot by a 32-13 margin. They're up against a much hotter team tonight and I expect them to stumble.
While they were up against a struggling New Jersey team last night, the Leafs are now taking on a red hot Capitals squad. Indeed, the Caps have won seven straight and are 11-2 their last 13.
Note that the Leafs are 19-29 (-9.9) the past couple of seasons, off a win by two or more goals. During that stretch, they're also just 14-24 (-6.8) when playing their second game in two days.
After losing both this season's meetings vs. the Leafs, we should see a motivated effort from the Caps tonight, as they look to avoid the season sweep. Of course, the Caps also still need to wrap up the division title - as there's a possibility that they'll miss the playoffs if they don't.
I expect them to keep on rolling, as they improve to 9-3 the last 12 times that they attempted to avenge a home loss. 9* Eastern Conf GOM
|04-12-13||Ottawa Senators v. New Jersey Devils -144||Top||2-0||Loss||-144||19 h 2 m||Show|
I'm playing on NEW JERSEY. The Devils are still alive in the playoff race in the Eastern Conference, but they face a do or die situation Friday. New Jersey sits four points out of eighth place and it host sOttawa, one of the few teams the Devils still have a chance to catch.
Ottawa played a tough road game last night in Philadelphia, scoring late in the third to get past the Flyers by a score of 3-1. Prior to last night's victory, the Sens had lost five straight. Injuries have taken their toll on the Senators, who are still without Jason Spezza, Erik Karlsson and Milan Michalek.
The Sens have a history of struggling in New Jersey, with only two wins in their last 10 visits. This will be their sixth consecutive road game, as well as their second in as many nights. Clearly, they aren't in an ideal spot here.
Note that NJ is 29-20 (+9.3) the past few seasons, after scoring four or more goals in its previous game.
The Sens had to dig deep for last night's victory and it must feel like a weight off their shoulders snapping their losing skid. Colin Greening scored the game winning goal, and he commented: "Because of the situation we're in, we're just so happy to get out of here with two points,"
It's going to be a lot tougher to match that level of intensity playing on back to back nights, against an opponent that is also in a desperate spot. The Devils should prove to be too much for the Sens to handle in this game. 9* Personal Favorite
|04-10-13||Toronto Maple Leafs v. NY Rangers -153||Top||2-3||Win||100||10 h 10 m||Show|
I'm playing on the NEW YORK RANGERS. These teams just met at Toronto a couple of nights ago. The Leafs won that one by a score of 4-3. Tonight's rematch is at MSG though and I expect the Rangers to exact some revenge.
The Rangers are 60-46 (+8.4) in the "revenge" role the past few seasons. During that stretch, they're also 27-16 (+8) after allowing four or more goals in their previous game. That includes a perfect 3-0 mark in that situation this season. They won those games by scores of 4-3, 2-1 and 4-1.
On the other hand, the Leafs are only 30-40 (-9.5) the past few seasons, after scoring four or more goals in their previous game.
New York's Rick Nash said this of his team: "At this point of the season we have to be a lot more desperate and can't be having those defensive zone breakdowns."
After having played three straight on the road, the Rangers should be thrilled to return home. Note that they're 13-4 (+8.4) their last 17, after playing their previous three away from home.
The Rangers won this season's lone meeting vs the Leafs here by a score of 5-2 outshooting them by a 42-17 margin. I successfully backed them in that game and I'm expecting them to earn another important two points tonight. 9* "situational" GOY
|04-09-13||Buffalo Sabres v. Winnipeg Jets -151||1-4||Win||100||12 h 50 m||Show|
I'm playing on WINNIPEG. I successfully backed the Jets in their last game. At the time, the Jets were mired in a lengthy losing streak. I watched the game and saw them play fairly hard in the first period (although they were outshot) but miss several chances and then get burned by somewhat of a fluke goal - a long shot by the Flyers from near the blue line which got deflected and which the goalie didn't see. They entered the first intermission down 1-0. For a team stuck in a rut, that could have been rather deflating. That didn't prove to be the case though, as the Jets came out on absolute fire in the second. In fact, they outscored the Flyers 4-0 in that period, eventually winning by a score of 4-1. Now that they've got their "mojo" back, I expect them to follow it up with another important win this evening.
Philadelphia forward Scott Hartnell said this of the Jets: "They played like they wanted it the last 40 minutes."
Winnipeg's Evander Kane, who played very well in Saturday's win, had this to say: 'Our top players have to be hot and get our team going, and I thought we did a good job of that. We had to win this game to give ourselves a shot to even make the playoffs. Our season is on the line right now."
Give the Sabres credit - three straight wins has them thinking playoffs and back in the race. However, keep in mind that this team has struggled all season long and that it just traded away several of its best players at the deadline, essentially throwing in the towel in terms of advancing to the postseason.
Note that the Sabres are 0-2 this season, after winning three straight. After winning three consecutive games in late February and early March, when trying to make it four in a row, they lost 3-2. A few weeks later, after winning three straight in mid-late March, they lost 2-1. Going back further finds them at a money-burning 5-11 (-7.6) the past few seasons, off three or more consecutive victories.
The Jets have dominated the Sabres. They're 4-1 in the series since the team moved to Winnipeg, including 4-0 the last four. The Sabres have failed to score more than a single goal in any of those four games. Going back further finds that the Jets/Thrashers are 16-7 with a tie the last 24 times that they were a host in this series. I expect another "desperate" effort to lead to another important two points. 8* personal favorite
|04-06-13||Toronto Maple Leafs v. New Jersey Devils -119||Top||2-1||Loss||-119||11 h 9 m||Show|
I'm playing on NEW JERSEY. The Leafs are so close to making the playoffs that the "postseason-starved" fans in Toronto can practically taste it. Don't expect the Devils to make things easy for them though.
The Leafs suffered their first "regulation" loss in nine games last time out. Now, it appears likely that they'll be without a key contributor in Joffrey Lupul. They'll also be taking on a New Jersey team which is desperate for points.
Toronto's James Reimer said this of Lupul's injury: "He's done a lot for us. He's a great player. I don't know how long he's out for but hopefully it's short."
Even though they lost again, the Devils played well last time out. In fact, they had a season-high 40 shots but just happened to run into a really hot goalie. They suffered a 1-0 loss but if they play like that again tonight, they're likely to find the back of the net at least a few times.
New Jersey defenseman Andy Greene said this of the 1-0 loss and the team's overall outlook: "I'd be lying if I said we don't know where we are in the playoffs. But we're not thinking about it (every) game. If we play 11 more games like this, I think we'll give ourselves the best chance to continue to play."
Note that the Devils are still an outstanding 51-31 (+12) the last 82 times that they were off three or more consecutive losses.
The Devils, who allow a mere 24.5 shots per game, are still outscoring teams by an average of 2.7 to 2.4 on home ice. (The Leafs allow 31.8 shots per game.) I expect a highly motivated effort to lead to an important two points here. 10* personal favorite
|04-06-13||Philadelphia Flyers v. Winnipeg Jets -125||Top||1-4||Win||100||7 h 26 m||Show|
I'm playing on WINNIPEG. The Flyers come in as the much hotter team. However, I expect the Jets to be a little more hungry this afternoon and for that "sense of desperation" to lead to them earning a very important two points.
After losing 4-1 on Thursday, Winnipeg coach Claude Noel commented: "I don't think you can expect to lose five straight games and expect that things aren't going to change. We know that if we continue down this road it isn't good. That's why there's urgency. We're running out of games."
While the Flyers have certainly been better of late, lets not forget that they're still an awful 5-13 (5-12-1) on the road. They're getting outscored by a 3.4 to 2.6 margin.
Even with a couple of recent losses, the Jets are still 7-4 (+5.3) when off three or more consecutive losses. During that stretch, they're also 19-13 (+7.6) after scoring one goal or less in their previous game. I expect the Jets' best effort this afternoon, as they improve to 6-1 after playing three or more consecutive road games. 10* annihilator
|04-04-13||Edmonton Oilers v. Vancouver Canucks -172||0-4||Win||100||19 h 5 m||Show|
I'm playing on VANCOUVER. The Oilers blew out their provincial rival (Calgary) by a score of 8-2 last night. While that was an impressive win, they're stepping up in class significantly tonight. Facing a hungry and talented Canucks team, I expect the Oilers to come back down to earth here.
The Oilers have played back-to-back games five times in 2013, losing three of them. The wins came vs. Columbus and St. Louis. In neither case were they facing a "revenge minded opponent," as they will be here. (In the case of their win vs. Columbus, it was the first time that they'd seen the Jackets this season. In the case, of their win vs. the Blues, they'd just been beaten by St. Louis a few nights earlier and were playing with "double-revenge."
Tonight, however, its the Canucks who play with "recent revenge," as they were just blanked 4-0 at Edmonton on 3/30. That's a role in which Vancouver typically excels. Indeed, the Canucks are 11-6 (+2.4) the last 17 times they were playing with revenge, going an outstanding 57-29 (+11.8) in that situation the past few seasons.
While the Oilers are playing the second of b2b games, the Canucks were well-rested, having the last two days off. That's noteworthy as we find them at 30-15 (+4.9) the last few seasons, when playing with two day's off in between games.
The Oilers may have beaten up on lowly Calgary last night but they're only 3-5 vs. teams with a winning record, going 28-56 (-14.4) against winning teams the past few seasons. During that stretch, they're also 6-15 (-6.5) when playing a road game with an O/U line of five or less.
The last time that the Oilers played the second of back-to-back games here at Vancouver resulted in a 3-2 loss on 1/24/2012. While this price may initially seem a little steep, keep in mind that the Canucks were -330 favorites in that one. I believe this line could actually be higher too and I look for the well-rested and revenge-minded home team to come away with the important two points. *7 blue marlin
|04-03-13||Pittsburgh Penguines v. NY Rangers -108||Top||1-6||Win||100||14 h 9 m||Show|
I'm playing on the NY RANGERS. The Penguins have won all three of this season's previous meetings and have dominated this series in recent seasons. However, the situation favors the Rangers here and I expect them to exact some revenge.
I backed the Rangers on Monday. They beat the Jets by a score of 4-2. Note that NY is 36-24 (+6.3) the past few seasons, after scoring four or more goals. This season, the Rangers are 5-2 after a win by two or more goals. The Rangers had yesterday off.
On the other hand, the Pens are off a 4-1 setback vs. Buffalo last night. That loss snapped their 15-game winning streak. While they've certainly got plenty of other talented and capable players, one can't ignore the fact that they're without Crosby, arguably the best in the world.
Many will likely expect the Pens to immediately respond and to bounce back with a victory. I often find that teams don't necessarily perform too well, after finally having an extended winning streak snapped though.
The Pens will obviously want to get right back on track and to show they can win without Crosby. The Rangers need this game more though and I expect them to be a little more hungry.
Coach John Tortorella had this to say: "I don't give a damn about a deadline or anything else, except trying to win. It's pretty simple as far as the coaches and players that are here right now. We just want to win. We as a group just want to win. Nothing else is being talked about or discussed; we just want to win."
I expect a highly motived effort and for the revenge-minded Rangers to come away with the important two points. 10* main event
|04-02-13||Colorado Avalanche v. Nashville Predators -160||1-3||Win||100||10 h 24 m||Show|
I'm playing on NASHVILLE. These teams met at Colorado a few days ago, the Avalanche winning 1-0. I expect the Predators to exact some revenge here.
Both teams played yesterday, each losing 3-2. While the Preds have won four of their last seven, when playing the second of back-to-back games, the Avs are 0-4 their last four in that situation and 2-8 their last 10. Going back further finds Colorado at an ugly 9-21 (-7.8) their last 30 when playing their second game in two days.
While they've endured a trying season, the Preds are still a lucrative 54-44 (+14.5) the past few years, when attempting to avenge an earlier loss. They're 3-1 off three straight losses and I look for them to step up and stop the bleeding here. 7* personal favorite
|04-01-13||Winnipeg Jets v. NY Rangers -143||Top||2-4||Win||100||10 h 25 m||Show|
I'm playing on the NY RANGERS. The Jets have a better record than the Rangers and they've won both of this season's meetings. That said, while I give the Jets credit and understand they're pretty solid, I still believe the Rangers are the superior team. If these teams met in the playoffs today, I'd expect the Rangers to win the series. With tonight's game being played at MSG and with the Rangers needing points more than the Jets, I expect New York to come away with the important victory.
While this season has admittedly been a bit disappointing, the Rangers remain a lucrative 58-46 (+6.2) the past couple of years, when attempting to avenge an earlier loss. During that stretch, they're also 32-22 (+6.4) off a loss by two or more goals.
While the Jets are getting outscored by an average of 3.1 to 2.4 away from Winnipeg, the Rangers are outscoring teams by a 2.8 to 2.4 margin here at MSG.
Off three straight on the road, note that the Rangers are 12-4 (+7.4) off three or more consecutive road games. I expect their best effort. 9* personal favorite
|03-29-13||Anaheim Ducks v. Chicago Blackhawks -150||2-1||Loss||-150||22 h 12 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHICAGO. The Ducks have won both this season's previous meetings. They're suddenly reeling though, off four straight losses, getting outscored 16-5. Playing with "double-revenge," the Hawks should have no shortage of motivation.
Anaheim's Francois Beauchemin had this to say of his team's recent play: "We're not working hard enough and we're not winning the battles. It shows on the ice..."
The Hawks are 5-1 (+3.6) when playing with two day's rest in between games and 9-3 (+5.1) when attempting to avenage an earlier loss. They're outscoring teams by a 4.2 to 2.4 margin their last five while the Ducks are being outscored by a 3.6 to 1.8 mark.
While they likely won't have Hossa or Sharp in the lineup, this is still a loaded Chicago squad. All things considered, I feel the price is reasonable. 9* personal favorite
|03-28-13||Los Angeles Kings v. St Louis Blues -125||Top||4-2||Loss||-125||12 h 52 m||Show|
I'm playing on ST. LOUIS. The Blues are off a 3-0 loss on Tuesday and have now dropped three of four overall. They did have 43 shots in that game though - and they'd previously won four straight at home. Their coach (Hitchcock) isn't standing for any more losing. He held a lengthy closed door meeting after Tuesday's loss.
Hitchcock was quoted saying: "I think it's going to require a deeper buy-in from the group, which is what we talked about here with our leaders. It's going to take a deeper buy-in by the group for us to be successful. I think that's going to be a partnership by management, coaches and players. It's going to have to be deeper. It's not deep enough."
While the Blues were in their meeting on Tuesday, the Kings were at the White House, meeting the president.
While the Kings are 6-8-1 on the road, the Blues are 8-6-1 at home.
While the Kings are 38-41 (-.2.7) the past couple of seasons when playing a road game with an O/U line of five or less, the Blues are 37-19 (+6.7). Playing with "double-revenge," I expect a highly motivated effort from the Blues to lead to an important two points. 10* personal fav
|03-28-13||Winnipeg Jets v. Pittsburgh Penguins -192||0-4||Win||100||11 h 48 m||Show|
I'm playing on PITTSBURGH. This price is obviously a little higher than I normally prefer to lay. However, I believe it could (and should) be even higher.
With the Heat having lost yesterday, the Penguins streak is now the "talk of the sports world." They're simply playing at another level from most of the teams right now.
The "streaky" Pens are now 42-14 (+23.8) after three or more consecutive victories. They're only getting stronger and I don't see their winning streak coming to an end against an outclassed Jets team which is sandwiched in between "big" games vs. divisional rival Carolina. 5*
|03-26-13||BUF SABRES v. TB LIGHTNING -122||1-2||Win||100||7 h 50 m||Show|
I'm playing on TAMPA BAY. Both the Lightning and the Sabres are in a similar position, with each team having a frustrating season, failing to live up to expectations. The Sabres fired head coach Lindy Ruff several weeks ago, while Tampa Bay let go Guy Boucher just a few days ago. The Lightning have named Jon Cooper as their new bench boss, and he will make his debut against the Sabres tonight.
Cooper has an impressive resume, leading the Syracuse Crunch to the AHL's best record, after winning the Calder Cup with Norfolk last season. "He has had success at every level he has coached and is extremely familiar with our organization, as well as our players," general manager Steve Yzerman said. "He has a tremendous record at all levels and we feel he is ready to make the move to the NHL." He is fortunate to inherit a team loaded with offensive talent, ranked third in the league in scoring.
The Sabres may be due for a let down after winning three straight, two of those games decided after regulation time. They might have been fortunate to be getting such positive results, as they continue to play poor defensively. Ryan Miller has seen a lot of rubber all year, and he's faced 73 shots in his last two starts. Buffalo isn't likely going to come away with points from this game if they surrender 30+ shots against the potent offense of the Lightning.
With the players looking to make a positive impression for their new coach, there is added motivation for Tampa Bay to earn a victory tonight. They are facing the right opponent at the right time, giving them an excellent opportunity to do so. 8*
|03-26-13||Winnipeg Jets v. Carolina Hurricanes -119||4-1||Loss||-119||6 h 11 m||Show|
I'm playing on CAROLINA. The Hurricanes enter this game on a losing streak. They've had some extra time off to "get it together" though and I expect them to be very determined.
Adding to the Canes' motivation is the fact that the Jets defeated them here in this season's earlier meeting. Carolina is four points behind Winnipeg in the Southeast Division, but the Jets have also played three more games than the Canes. With a win tonight, the Hurricanes are still in the driver's seat, with their fate in their own hands as far as the playoff race.
The Jets have had their own troubles of late, losing consecutive games to another Southeast Division rival, getting out-scored 10-1 by Washington in back-to-back home games Thursday and Friday. They might feel as though they have snapped out of it, after defeating Tampa Bay on Sunday, but that result isn't all that impressive against a team that is no longer in the playoff picture, having recently fired their coach.
The Jets will face a much tougher task in Carolina, and they may feel the effects of the grueling schedule. Tonight's game will be their fifth in eight days, and their first in a very difficult road trip, that will see them play Pittsburgh on Thursday, before returning home to take on Carolina again on Saturday. If all goes according to plan for the Hurricanes, they could take over the division lead in that game. 8*